Two resignations accepted by local school districts this month have put the spotlight on the misuse of public funds.
At Cassadaga Valley schools, right, an audit done by Bahgat & Laurito-Bahgat exposed serious problems in the transportation department. Parts purchased for vehicles not owned by the district as well as shorter than documented bus runs led to the resignation of Jason Farnham, department supervisor.
"I believe that the decision to do an audit of the transportation department came last fall," said S. Carl Perry of the district's audit committee. "It was part of the internal audit process. We (the audit committee) look at an aspect of the district to help us ensure that the taxpayers interests are protected."
While transportation parts and schedules were spotlighted in Cassadaga Valley, it was a settlement that resembled a Cadillac in Westfield.
In a resignation agreement, which had the blessing of the district's board and former school chief Mark Sissel, a payout of more than $113,000 went to Sissel as well as additional health insurance benefits for the coming two years.
As part of the separation, Sissel's last day at the district was in early July though he maintains employment through the end of August.
Through all the upheaval, we applaud the return of Peggy Sauer, who brings experience and respectability to the position on an interim basis.
Sissel, however, turned in false mileage reports and receipts for Christmas toys, which the district reimbursed.
We hope he has paid back that money to district taxpayers, which really is only a drop in the bucket when compared to what the former superintendent has walked away with in his separation deal.
An agreement, that even signed, seems dishonest to taxpayers.